Close Up

16 March 2018: Theatre of Mr and Mrs Kabal


Walerian Borowczyk
1967 | 12 min | Colour | Digital

Two bored dwarves fight over a cushion. Like Diptych, Gavotte constitutes a further step in the direction of live action filmmaking. Completely wordless, Borowczyk takes his dramatic cue from a gavotte by Jean-Philippe Rameau, played on a harpsichord off camera. Whereas the purveyors of concrete cinema pushed the boundaries of film form with often dry results, Borowczyk uses the constraints of the film frame for comic effect.

Theatre of Mr and Mrs Kabal
Walerian Borowczyk
1967 | 80 min | Colour | Digital

Bizarre, grotesque, and yet strangely moving, Borowczyk’s existential soap opera eschews dialogue (for the most part) and conventional narrative to evoke the highs and lows of married life. Set in a barren wasteland thinly populated by exotic flora and fauna, Borowczyk’s only animated feature (rendered in sparse, coarse, and, for the most part, monochrome graphics) serves as a stiff antidote to Disney’s saccharine whimsy.

Part of our season on Walerian Borowczyk